Canadian Dental Plan update

We’ve been getting calls and notes from clients about the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP).  The reason for them generally fall under 2 categories…

  1.  How to code T-4’s as s required this time of year.  You can find info on our past blog posts here…

Canada is rolling out its dental care program. Here’s what you need to know

2. Can/Will the CDCP replace our dental benefits?  It us highly unlikely unless you want your employees to have a much reduced (or no) benefit.  So far we have identified a few issues.

  1. Most employees will not be eligible until the final phase launching in 2025
  2. Many employees will be prevented from using the plan due to the household income test
  3. Most dentists are NOT expected to sign up to provide service.  In fact, many of the provincial dental associations are advising not to sign up for the national plan.This means patients may have to search out a new dentist.
  4. The funding model has now been released and shows the dentists would be paid up to 40% less than a regular patient, so a big part of the cost is being paid for by dentists, not just the government.  I grabbed a few often used codes and compared to the last ODA fee guide I had (and adjusted for inflation) to check this.

Code 11111 scaling – Private plan would pay ~ $71.63,  CDCP would pay $63.00 –  12% LESS     

Code 02111 x-rays –  Private plan would pay ~ $38.66,  CDCP would pay $29.08 – 25% LESS

Code 21114 filing – Private plan would pay ~ $365.00,  CDCP would pay $209.54 – 41% LESS

5. The co-insurance on most private dental plans is 80%.  The CDCP varies based on income from 100% (household income of <$70k) down to 60% (household income of $70-80k) and even 40% (household income of $80-90k) before disallowing access.  This will provide substantially lower coverage for many employees.  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan/coverage.html
6. At this point, the government has said they will NOT integrate the federal plan with private plans, so this is really only intended for those with no coverage.
 
If you’d like to discuss any part of the program, the implications to employees or employers, or jsut get a better understanding, please give me a call.
 
Dave 905-886-9203

CRA clarifying how employers must determine province of employment for remote workers

Since the pandemic started we’ve had employers (and advisors) reaching out for help in handling remote workers.  This usually starts around a benefits question (if the employee is in another province or country, how does emergency travel work?), and then gets more complicated quickly (taxation, safety, tech issues etc.).

This is still a very complicated issue and several professionals will need to be consulted before allowing employees to work abroad for anything more than a short time.  CRA has provided a bit of clarity in the article below.

If you need assistance with remote workers, please reach out and we can try to assist.


The Canadian Revenue Agency is providing guidance for employers to determine the province of employment for full-time employees who are working remotely.

https://www.benefitscanada.com/news/bencan/cra-guidance-clarifying-how-employers-must-determine-province-of-employment-for-remote-workers/

Invitation to Mainstay Clients to attend events at NO COST!

As a Mainstay Insurance Brokerage client, you get some perks of my work within the industry.  One of those is free attendance at Canadian Group Insurance Brokers educational events (the association I started in 2003). 

We have two events in Vaughan (Hwy 400 and 407 area) coming up in May and June. Both are full day events aimed at benefit advisors, insurers, TPA’s and others in the industry, so you get  “fly on the wall” inside perspective.  These are a great way to increase knowledge, and if you’re in HR even get education credits.

The first, on May 8th, has a number of speakers including a discussion around renewals, and an employer panel sharing their stories, needs and expectations of advisors and insurers.  Details are HERE.

The second, on June 19th, is a smaller workshop on Building and using a benefit plan administration checklist.  As a client you’ve had this checklist explained to you (if not, come out for sure) and had it included in every years renewal package.  This workshop gets into the legal cases, taxation issues, areas of risk and employment/HR issues that employers see every day.  Details are HERE.

If either of these events are of interest and you can spend the day with us, please let me know and I’ll book a spot for you free of charge.

Special Note:  If you have HR consultants, friends, and/or business associates (best if they have a plan or want to start one) that may want to learn more about benefits, please feel free to share the info and have them reach out to me.  We find many are trying to find an advisor that specializes in benefits and don’t know where to turn.  I may not add too many new clients a year, but the room will have some great ones that can help, if I can’t.

Dental Fee guides out for the country…

Each year the provincial dental associations release their fee guide adjustments (see 2024 below).  Last year Ontario saw the largest increase in 25 years at an 8.5% increase.  Things have settled for 2024 at 4.8% but still the second highest I can recall in my nearly 28 years in the industry.  This is also more than double the annual trend we’d seen over the decades.

The fee guide increase is what drives the inflationary portion of claim costs.  This means that if your employees paid $100 for a service last year, the same service will cost $104.80 this year (on average – some codes are higher and others lower).  On top of that we also have trends and utilization that increase the final cost.  These are the effect we see over time for patients going into the dental office more often (like cleanings ever 3 months instead of 6) and for more things (like scaling units).  All put together we may see overall average increases of 7.5%.


Drug Access Navigators (DANs) take key financial stress away from patients

In the past, we’ve shared information about healthcare navigators (like Ray Rupert below).  Navigation experts can help with complicated health issues and assist in gaining access and resolving situations by acting as your advocate.

Raymond Rupert  – RCM Health Consultancy Inc.  – 647 350 5500 ext 105  –  rrupert@rcmhealth.ca –   www.rcmhealth.ca 

Navigators are often used in speciality clinics to help obtain access and funding for high cost speciality drugs, and used to access testing and services as well as second opinions.  The article below shares how they may also be used when it comes to cancer treatment.


Drug Access Navigators help people with cancer get financial support for treatment and almost every cancer clinic in Canada has one.

Drug Access Navigators (DANs) or Medication Reimbursement Specialists (among other similar titles) are a critical part of the healthcare team, helping connect patients with cancer with financial support for their medications.
This means assisting them with applying for approval from a private drug plan or making an application to a government program; getting authorization from the provincial or federal government for a medication; or filling in the financial gaps where private or public plans don’t fully cover a drug’s cost.
 

What do Ontario employers need to know ahead of new pay transparency legislation?

This legislation would require employers to include salary ranges in ALL job postings.  What this means is that both new job candidates (and existing employees) will see the salary range offered and will be in a better position to make informed decisions, before taking a job (or negotiating increases).

The article below has a quote that clients may want to keep in mind about highlighting perks (like their benefit plans) when doing postings.

“Smaller companies that don’t have well-structured compensation policies and practices will be most impacted by the legislation. In order to attract and retain skilled professionals, these companies will need to quickly establish defined compensation processes and may also have to go the extra mile and include other aspects of the compensation and benefits package, including perks, in job postings.”


Before new pay transparency legislation takes effect in Ontario, it’s important for employers to ensure their current compensation structure is in order…  READ ARTICLE BELOW

https://www.benefitscanada.com/human-resources/hr-communication/what-do-ontario-employers-need-to-know-ahead-of-new-pay-transparency-legislation/

2023 HR Law Year in Review & Trends to Watch in 2024 – Webinar January 30th

Each year Williams HR Law LLP does a great summary on what to “be on the look out for” in the year ahead around Employment Law and HR issues.  Details are below.  Hold the date and watch for more

Keep an eye out for registration information for the webinar, which will be shared in early January. 


Organizations across Canada are continuously challenged to stay ahead in the world of HR Law. From the challenges associated with remote work, nuanced terminations, and legislative updates to matters of bad faith conduct, accommodations and independent contractor relationships, it is difficult to stay afloat, let alone be proactive in navigating the numerous changes that have emerged in 2023.

To keep you and your organization In the Know, Laura Williams and the Williams HR Law team invite you to our annual, complimentary 2023 HR Law Year in Review & Trends to Watch in 2024 webinar on January 30, 2024, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Save the Date

Topics that will be covered in this Year in Review webinar will include:

  • Remote work challenges, such as time theft and moonlighting, including strategies to foster successful remote work arrangements
  • The latest shifts in the law on the enforceability of termination clauses and the assessment of reasonable notice
  • The expanded scope of bad faith conduct, including best practices to avoid liability for moral and punitive damages
  • Key developments related to accommodations, including compliance strategies for mask and vaccination policies
  • New WSIB reporting requirements and case law
  • Legal developments related to fixed-term independent contractor agreements, and best practices for organizations to mitigate risk
  • Critical considerations when assessing credibility and reliability in workplace investigations
  • Legislative updates affecting Ontario and federally regulated employers, including pay transparency and notice of termination requirementsThis interactive webinar will include Q&A time for attendees to pose questions which Williams HR Law’s lawyers will answer live.

Canada is rolling out its dental care program. Here’s what you need to know

There is still a lot to be announced about the upcoming Federal Dental program (hint: Don’t expect too much), but in the meantime, these articles are proving some of the details people have been waiting for on the implementation.

Toronto Star Article

CP24 Article.

Our past blog posts also provide details on coding T-4’s

Any questions?  Just reach out and we’ll try and help.

HR Resources updated for Mainstay Client Partners

As a Mainstay Insurance client/partner we have obtained free HR resources for your firm.  Many of you have already subscribed, and use the templates and documents to help set up policies, or to be prepared before speaking to an employment lawyer (saves time and money!)
 

Now there is a New Updated Version with Important changes to the Employment Agreement Template

  • The Employment Agreement Template has been revised to include the following changes:Additional language to protect your business against force majeure or unforeseen circumstances such as a pandemic.
  • General language and consistency edits throughout the document.

If you’re already subscribed, log on to the RESOURCE CENTRE and follow the banner.  If not, please read below.


Clients often tell us that you need HR, that you don’t know where to start, who to call, what to do.  And too often, end up do nothing.

You’ve been heard!  Mainstay has entered into a program with ConnectsUs HR ™ so you can take advantage of the proven HR package made for Canadian small business and compliant for Ontario, Alberta and BC.

The best part?  There’s no cost to you – we’ve picked up the tab! You won’t even have to provide a credit card.

Simply ask us for a 100% FREE discount code and follow the link below.

Click here  to find out more and get started on your HR today! 

988 hotline for those facing mental health crisis launches across Canada

This is a great new service…spread the word.


Similar to 911, 3 digits will connect people to suicide prevention services quickly

Canada’s 988 hotline, which gives people access to suicide prevention services via call or text, went live on Thursday.

People in every province and territory who are experiencing a mental health crisis and need immediate, real-time support can use the three-digit number.

Similar to 911 for accessing fire, police and medical emergencies, 988: Suicide Crisis Helpline is a short, easy-to-remember number to get a quick response from coast to coast to coast, 24/7 and free of charge.

READ MORE